Hooray! It’s July and my family wants to take me to the beach! I know it’s time to visit the shore because it’s been over nine months since I’ve had any skin irritations. But now it’s finally summer, so let’s go to the beach! Yippee!
Here is how much my skin enjoys going to the beach, starting from the top and working down.
Head — about five years ago I was outside doing some yard work, and I had large amounts of sunblock on my face and neck, but later that evening the top of my head was in pain. I couldn’t understand why, and then my wife said, “Your bald spot is sunburned.” My bald spot? I didn’t even know I HAD a bald spot. I can’t see the top of my head. Why didn’t someone tell me? That’s like letting me walk around all day with a piece of spinach stuck in my teeth. As the TV public service announcement says: “Friends don’t let friends be oblivious to bald spots.”
Neck — I’ve never lived any further south than Connecticut, but the shade of crimson my neck turns when I just THINK about going outside on a sunny day qualifies me as an honorary member of the Sons of the Confederacy.
Torso — This is the safest part of my body because I never, ever take my shirt off at the beach, even when frolicking in the surf or taking a shower. With my shirt off, I look like the Pillsbury Dough Boy’s twin brother, except a tad whiter (and wider). Another reason why I leave my shirt on is because it’s not right for a middle-aged man to cause little children to cry.
Nether regions — This is another area of my body that is not in danger of getting sunburned, but that’s not to say it’s free from the joys of beach-induced skin irritation. The mesh lining inside a man’s bathing suit has been specially designed by NASA to capture and retain the maximum quantity of salt, sand, and seaweed. It’s an amazing achievement of science. Walking around the beach all day with a bathing suit filled with abrasive compounds is one of the highlights of summer. Sometimes during the winter, when I wistfully long for the warmth of July, I’ll sprinkle some salt, sand, and soggy lettuce into a pair of jockey shorts, and then walk around the house until I’m thoroughly chaffed. Mmm, delightful!
Legs — No matter how many quarts of sunblock I apply to my legs, I always seem to miss a spot on the back of my knee. So by 5 p.m., that one little spot feels like it was pressed against a waffle iron. Also, the legs are the part of the body targeted most often by mosquitos, sand fleas, and those cuddly green-headed horse flies.
Feet — If you wear socks and shoes every day for months on end, the bottom of your feet become as tender as a piece of veal. This means if you walk barefoot on plush carpeting, it will hurt. And if you walk barefoot on hot sand, pebbles, and shells, the pain will cause your feet to file a lawsuit against you for cruel and unusual punishment. This is why I have to wear socks and sneakers when I go to the beach. Combined with the floppy hat, baggy shirt, and gallons of sunblock, the socks and sneakers are the crowning touch, which is why I’ve won the Beach Dork of the Year award seven years in a row.
So, the beach season is finally here! I’ve got my hat, shirt, sneakers, bathing suit, and 55-gallon drum of sunblock ready to go. When do we leave?